This is a sample itinerary for our Private Montserrat and Cava Tour.
Final itinerary and timings might vary due to many factors (cellar availability, traffic conditions, your location and pace, your main interests…)
DRIVE TO MONTSERRAT
Meet your guide & driver
Your private tour guide and your driver will pick you up at your hotel or apartment and drive you first to Montserrat, on a road that follows the Llobregat river, past factories and farmland. Once at the foot of Montserrat, you’ll stop for a picture of the Monastery from the bottom before taking the winding road that takes you there.
* Cable car and cog wheel train not available for this itinerary.
Things to do in Montserrat
The Monastery area offers lots of activities to choose from. Here are some ideas:
- Black Madonna Shrine. Enter the Basilica, where a path through the side chapels and a 50 steps stair take you to the Shrine where the Black Madonna is worshiped. There you’ll be able to follow the tradition: touch her and make a wish. The view from there over the inside of the Basilica is quite stunning. This must be completed before 10.30AM, when they close the doors until mass is over. When they reopen later, the lines are extremely long and guides are not allowed to skip them.
- St Joan Funicular and optional hike back. Best as you arrives in case there are long lines, it departs every 20 minutes and takes you to a high point from where to enjoy the views over the Monastery and the rest of the mountain. The ride takes 5 minutes, and once there you can also visit a small exhibit about the geology and the nature of Montserrat (15 minutes). You might also choose to hike down a relatively easy path (walking shoes needed, though) that takes about 45 minutes to walk. The views are spectacular and it can be done with kids at a slower pace.
- Art Museum. If you like art, you will be impressed by the beautiful collection the monks have gathered throughout the centuries! The visit takes at least 1 hour.
- Holy Cave. If you are into churches and able to walk, you might want instead to walk to the Holy Cave Ermitage, where it is said the Black Madonna was originally found by miracle. The little church isn’t especially beautiful, but the views are and the path is partially decorated with sculptures representing the Misteries of the Cross, one of which was designed by a very young Antoni Gaudi. A funicular saves you 10 minutes of the way, that takes around 40 minutes (one way). The walk involves steps.
- Via Crucis path. This shorter walk with decorative panels describing Jesus Path of the Cross takes around 30 minutes and despite a few steps here and there, it’s quite easy to walk and it takes you into the nature and away from the pilgrim and visitors crowds for a while, with also some nice photo opportunities.
- Audiovisual and Exhibit. A 10 minute audiovisual explains what the Mountain and the Monastery of Montserrat mean for the locals, from its history, its religious significance, the art and the nature. Then the visit continues through a nice exhibit that explains how the monks and the children of the choir live (about 20 minutes more, after watching the video).
- Shopping. There are two gift shops and a small farmers market with a dozen stalls selling local food products such as cheese, honey, fig bread and caramelized nuts.
You’ll discuss the options with your guide, and spend your time focusing on your favorite activities. Your guide will stay with your during the entire time.
DRIVE TO THE PENEDES COUNTY
Across the countryside
Back to the car you’ll start your descent from the Monastery through the road that crosses over the other side of the mountain. On the way you’ll pass scenic views over Catalonia and curious rock formations. Once on the highway, the landscape will soon start turning into vineyards as you enter the Penedès County.
Visit & Tasting
Visit a wine cellar specializing in cava, the local sparkling. We usually chose small family-owned cellars with something that makes them special: either because they make organic or biodynamic wines, or they have won international awards, or because the charm of their cellars and their long family history involved in wine making. The visit of the cellar will end with some wine tasting.
Time to Eat!
After the cellar you’ll be taken to a local restaurant for lunch, where you’ll be able to taste the local specialties.
DRIVE BACK TO BARCELONA
After lunch you’ll join the driver to go back to Barcelona. Use the ride to continue discussing with your guide anything you might be interested in, get recommendations for the rest of your stay or… take a nap to digest all the food and wine!
At the end of your tour, you’ll be dropped back to your hotel or apartment after a great day out of town.